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    Marcial to sit down with players in bid to ease COVID-19 concerns

    Jun 22, 2020
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    THE PBA leadership will sit down with player representatives of member ballclubs on Tuesday to address their questions and concerns once athletes in contact sports are finally given clearance to resume training.

    Commissioner Willie Marcial said invitations had been sent out to all teams for the first meeting between the league hierarchy and the players since the season was shut down indefinitely last March 11 following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Marcial is also going to take the opportunity to explain to the players the safety and health protocols the Board of Governors approved and formally submitted to the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Diseases), which the league will use as guide once the government agency approves the re-start of team practices.

    The commissioner opted to personally meet some of the players in order to get their reaction about the possible resumption or outright cancellation of the season.

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    “Mas gusto kong nakikita sila personally habang nag-uusap. Mas palagay ako doon at mas makikita mo yung sinseridad ng tao kapag ganun,” said Marcial when he appeared in the weekly webcast of the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum two weeks ago.

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    Only players invited will be allowed to attend the meeting with the commissioner.

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    Marcial assured all health protocols will be followed during the meeting, just like what the league did when the Board of Governors met at the PBA office last June 5.

    The commissioner said proper social distancing will be observed and everybody will be required to wear face mask and if possible, even face shield.

    Alcohol and hand sanitizers will also be provide by the league for each player. Foot mat will also be in place at the office entrance while thermal scanners to check the temperature of the players are likewise available.

    San Miguel Beer’s Chris Ross is among those invited by the league as well as Magnolia’s Marc Pingris, Jayson Castro of TnT Katropa, Kiefer Ravena of NLEX, among others.

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      Ross was the first player to voice his concern when the league announced it is submitting before the IATF a proposal to re-start the team's training under strict health protocols.

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      While the veteran San Miguel guard stressed he’s aware of the league having the players and safety of their families on top of their priority, Ross can’t help but be wary of the danger of going back to the court too early.

      “I wanna play ball and get back to work as bad as anyone out there, but at what risk?” asked Ross in his Twitter account.

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      PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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